In an recent issue of SUCCESS Magazine, they had chosen to profile five women who wield extraordinary influence. Through their work, Maya Angelou, Melinda Gates, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Indra Nooyi and Maria Shriver have changed the lives of countless people around the world. They have challenged the way men and women think about business, education, politics and life. Today, they continue to inspire us all to reach our fullest potential. If you have time to check out their stories, I highly suggest that you do … if not inspired … you will at least be entertained for a few moments.
Reading about their lifes and legacies made me stop and think … what type of a women am I and what legacy will I be leaving for my child(ren)? While I am no poet, first lady, CEO, or supreme court judge I am the queen and second in command of my own little household and know that as this child enters the world I am going to have to find ways to step up my leadership skills and find different ways that I can be a good example for my family.
What do I want my legacy to be? What would I do if I knew I only had a short amount of time left to make an impact? Eventually our lives will be summarized in a single sentence. What do I want mine to be?
While thinking of this topic I was reminded of a message my former pastor gave recently regarding Leaving A Positive Legacy and how much the message impacted me. He gave some wonder points and advice on what to do to ensure that the legacy we leave is a positive and uplifting one. What I learned from him was that in order to be someone of influence and leave a positive legacy for your children and your children’s children you have to have a purposeful plan and stand ready to pursue and endure it daily. In order to accomplish this you must be able to:
See beyond yourself. Many of our goals, dreams, aspirations and wishes are missed completely because our own shortsightedness. We short sell ourselves from obtainable goals because we aren’t able to see far enough or believe that we could overcome. While we as humans also tend to be very self oriented, no matter how much we try not to be. Even the Bible tells of a story of a man who was informed of a serious situation that would be effecting his future generations, see his response below …
6’Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house and all that your fathers have laid up in store to this day will be carried to Babylon; nothing will be left,’ says the LORD. 7’And some of your sons who will issue from you, whom you will beget, will be taken away, and they will become officials in the palace of the king of Babylon.'” 8(J)Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the LORD which you have spoken is good ” For he thought, “For there will be peace and truth in my days.”
His concern was only for himself and how his days will be and it did matter what would be happening to his future generations, just as long as he would be comfortable. We need to care and tend for our children building them up and providing a home and atmosphere where they can know they are loved and looked after yesterday, today and tomorrow. Whether we like it or not someone will be effected by the way we live and think whether it be those around you now or those to follow after you are gone.
Invest in the things that are truly valuable. Many of us today consider our homes, cars and expense possessions to be our true valuables because we know how much we paid(are paying) for them and know what they are worth. But there is no price tag that you can place on the true eternal valuables within your family. These valuables include:
- building a strong, positive and godly character.
- building healthy relationships
- growing a ministry mindset – serving your family and doing all you can to help your family grow and develop
- develop a faithful and generous stewards heart – let your children see you giving and serving in the community helping others and sharing your resources.
And lastly Finish Strong. The last stages of your life matter tremendously and know one truly knows when they are in their last stage of life. So we all must live strong, leaving no regrets, no unsettled disagreements and no unfinished life lessons. Live each day like it is your last, guard against taking the easy comfortable route instead of the more valuable route, keep commitments and learn life lessons from others.
What kind of legacy are you leaving for your future generations?